When many people think of online dating, they think of all the World of Warcraft addicts and goth kids from high school getting together online trying to get dates.
I actually felt the same way about it until I undertook a research project a year and a half ago that led me to join 18 different dating sites, going on a date with a girl from each one.
In the real world, this usually amounts to how you dress, how you style your hair, how polished your shoes are, etc.
In the wonderful world of online dating, however, you have myriad different levels of information you can display.
There are certain civilities that are usually followed on online dating sites that you would be wise to uphold (this mostly applies to guys, but girls can be guilty of them, too).
Firstly, don’t be that creepy guy who sends awkwardly sexual messages to girls half your age, writes intentionally offensive things in the forums or harasses other members.
Point 3 would be why you wanted to contact them, point 4 might bring up a common interest. I walked away from my dating experiences with a lot of new friends, and though I got lucky and found an awesome chick to date longer-term, I just as likely might not have, and I would have had to be happy with a double-handful of new friends.
Point 5 would be your parting words, something about hoping to hear back from them, and point 6 would be your ‘Goodbye! And I would have been, too, because I told myself ahead of time that whatever came of it I would at least have met some new people outside of my usual social group, gained some new (and sometimes quite bizarre) stories to tell, and tried something new (which should never be discounted).
This, of course, gets more difficult for woman, who (if what I’ve heard is correct) can get hundreds of messages per day on some of the more popular dating sites.
It’s amazing how many people will complain that they’ve had no luck with online dating and then I’ll take a look at their profile and there won’t be any pictures and most of the fields aren’t filled out.
“I don’t want my picture up on a dating site,” they say. There’s no way you’re going to find great people to date online if you don’t have enough commitment to post at least one picture and fill out 90% of the fields on your profile page.
This means you have a lot of opportunities to shine, but also a whole lot of opportunities to foul up big time.
Starting out, know what image you are trying to get across and what story you want to tell.